Condominiums remain popular housing choices, especially among those seeking a low-maintenance lifestyle, with the benefit of ownership. However, before making an offer on a condo there are a few things to keep in mind.
Fees & Service Charges: Condo associations typically charge a variety of fees to cover everything from modest maintenance charges to extravagant luxury amenities. Understand what is included, anticipated large expenditures, and out of the ordinary expenses likely to be incurred. Pay attention to deferred maintenance, planned upgrades, or other potential costs so you are not taken by surprise.
Management and Operational Efficiency: Spend time speaking with current residents, review community literature, and take a careful look around the area to get a general “feel” for how things are maintained.
Finances and Reserve Funds: Perform due diligence on the finances and reserve funds of the condo association to make sure their problem doesn’t become your own. Pay special attention to large numbers of foreclosures or vacant units that could eventually result in higher per owner premiums to compensate for loss of revenue.
Lifestyle and Values: When you buy a condo you buy a lifestyle – for better or worse. Be sure the condo and community share the same values and interests you find important. Remember, since condo associations are typically governed in a democratic fashion, a change of heart by the majority could lead to long-term frustration.